German Incertitudes, 1914-1945: The Stones and the Cathedral

Synopsis

The history of modern Germany has all too readily been seen in terms of a historical process that inevitably led to the horrors of National Socialism. As there are no certitudes in life, however, so there are none in German history. In this book, historian Klemens von Klemperer focuses on what he terms "the German incertitudes"--namely, the tensions between a realistic acceptance of disenchantment with the modern world, and an insistence upon reenchantment. Exploring this tension through a critical assessment of the ideas and writings of major German thinkers, von Klemperer seeks to account for both the achievements and the failings of German thought, society, and politics as responses to the challenge of modernity in the first half of the 20th century.